Written By: Kaya Gravitter
I decided to write about the topics of divorce, abuse, anxiety, and interracial relationships in my novel, After She Said Yes, for a few reasons. It is partly because I have seen and/or experienced these experiences firsthand but these are not the only reason. My love for writing and my life experiences led me to write this novel for the women speaking out against their abusers and for the women who still haven’t. Though the novel is fiction, I wrote this article in hopes my novel may many women who are going through abusive relationships, PTSD, or eating disorders. I also dedicated my novel to all women, so we may always have the strength to stand up to any man who tries to silence us.
Domestic violence and divorce is not just a stigma amongst Muslims but across the board. The woman who is abused in my novel is wealthy, so I wanted to show that no matter how rich or poor a person is, it is hard to leave. I feel it is probably harder for a woman who is financially dependent on her husband, but I do not know. But my whole novel is not on domestic violence, it only covers it in the early parts of the book. My novel focuses on what life is like after my protagonist has left her abuser and her growth after leaving.
One night when I couldn’t sleep, the idea for this novel came into my mind. I sprung up from my bed and wrote all that I could think of at that moment in a note on my phone. If you are a writer or artist, you know that when creativity strikes, you take full advantage of it, no matter how late at night it is.
After coming up with the idea for this book, I showed my writing critique group the blurb that I had written. They thought it was a great idea for a book ideas because it sheds light on an important topic that is very prevalent now, especially during the #metoo movement and women coming forward against their abusers.
My novel, After She Said Yes, is a Women’s Fiction Novel about Aurora, a magazine editor in Madison, Wisconsin. She finds her way out of an abusive marriage after catching her husband, Gannon, doing something she could never forgive him for. Battling the wounds inflicted throughout her abusive marriage, she strives to find the strength to be an independent woman again. Aurora is confronted with a rekindled flirtation with her soon-to-be ex-husband’s friend, Melih, a Turkish Muslim man. But will Aurora’s previous marriage stand in the way? Finding surprising success after an article of hers goes viral, Aurora must make a choice. She tells herself to come to terms with the reality that a woman cannot have both a successful career and love. Will she pursue her long-awaited dream job, or choose a shot at love?
I hope this novel shows women that there is a light at the end of that sometimes very dark, what seems like a never-ending, dark tunnel. In the novel, you will learn about an organization called DAIS, the Domestic Abuse Intervention Services based in Madison, WI, where I had volunteered a few years ago. I talk about DAIS in my novel After She Said Yes. DAIS is not the only place I volunteered, I also have volunteered for other women’s shelters. This does not include any of their stories, but I also wanted to write this for all of those women I spent time with and tried to help from when I started volunteering at fourteen years old.
On June 2nd, you can order Kaya’s novel, After She Said Yes, on Amazon, Books-A-Million, Barnes and Nobles, and many more places, such as your local bookstore. By the end of this week, the novel should be available for pre-order. If you cannot buy it, ask your local library to purchase it for you to read.